Pebble Time vs Pebble Steel vs Pebble

Pebble timeline

Past, present and future


In conjunction with apps from the likes of Misfit and Jawbone, all three Pebbles make great fitness trackers also capable of controlling music and media playback with the right third-party software, and there are now more than 6,500 such apps and watch faces available capable of making any Pebble do your bidding.

Other uses for Pebble apps include mobile payments (PayPal), controlling a GoPro camera, playing basic games, generating QR codes and tracking weather and flight information. None of the Pebble models offer onboard wireless internet connectivity, which must be provided by a connected iPhone or Android smartphone.

The third generation Pebble Time also introduces a more efficient way to juggle apps with a timeline interface that allows users to scroll into the past or future using the up or down buttons on the right-hand side of the watch. A press on the center button calls up a new app menu, but Pebble app developers will be able to pin important details to the timeline, such as upcoming events, weather or traffic information.

Pebble has promised timeline support for earlier Pebble and Pebble Steel models, but has yet to promise an exact date when that will arrive (presumably after Pebble Time has shipped). All three models work with iPhone 4S or higher models running iOS 8, as well as Android 4.0 and above smartphones.

Pebble Time to get excited

Time to order, is more like it

Pricing & Availability

By now you may be wondering how much Pebble your hard-earned money can buy, and thankfully the math is pretty simple.

The original model is now the budget model, priced at only $99 (£99, AU$99), while the Pebble Steel doubles the style and price to $199 (£149, AU$199). At this writing, the Pebble Time is currently only available via Kickstarter starting at $179 (about £115, AU$227) and ships anywhere in the world; the final retail price will match Pebble Steel. (An early bird $159 price for the first 10,000 backers sold out within minutes of launch, and the $179 pledges are going fast.)

The original Pebble and Pebble Steel models are available now from the company's website as well as AT&T, Amazon, Best Buy and Target stores in the US and a range of other retailers in Benelux, Canada, Nordics, UK, France and Switzerland. Pebble Time is currently available only on Kickstarter, and is expected to ship in May, 2015.

Pebble Time timeline in action

Go, Pebble, go!


It's hard to go wrong with any Pebble; which model you choose ultimately comes down to individual taste. We've never warmed up to the design of the original, but last year's Pebble Steel persuaded us to buy.

If you're averse to the very concept of Kickstarter, Pebble Time may be a pass for the time being, at least until the initial orders ship in May and start making their way to retail stores, presumably by summer.

However the latest generation wearable still stands out as the most feature-rich model of the three Pebbles and seems like the best bang for your buck out of the bunch.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle for Pebble is the very large shadow of the Apple Watch, and the next generation of Android Wear devices sure to march out later this year. Will Pebble Time be enough to stop the faithful from switching allegiances?

Time will tell, but for now, you can't really go wrong with any Pebble model, which remains the standard by which all others are judged.